Chefs Take on Celebrity Cooks, Their Excesses

COMMENTARY | Anthony Bourdain, famed chef and host of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations,” is known for telling it like it is. He didn’t hold back when he told TV Guide what he thought of butter’s number one fan, chef Paula Deen.

If you haven’t already heard what he said, CBS News reports Bourdain stated, “She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations and she’s proud of the fact that her food is f—ing bad for you. If I were on at seven at night and loved by millions of people at every age, I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it’s OK to eat food that is killing us. Plus, her food sucks.”

I agree with Bourdain, but this isn’t about that. Here’s a look at the national debate between America’s good ol’ home cooking and the standards of decent cuisine.

“Does she even cook anymore? I don’t know why she bothers. To her credit, she never said she was good at it. I feel bad that she still feels compelled to cook…”

— Bourdain on TV chef Rachael Ray in the same TV Guide interview, according to the Orange County Register

Ray is known for her simple meals, prepared from a box. Bourdain has never minced his words on Ray, and her contribution to the dumbing down of America through her so-called cooking.

“F****n’ every restaurant in San Francisco is just serving figs on a plate. Do something with your food.”

— David Chang at the New York Food & Wine Festival on Oct. 8, 2009, according to Grub Street New York.

San Francisco was not pleased about Chang’s remark. The city is known for founding the slow food movement, and canceled an event that would have promoted his new book. Chang responded by saying that people in San Francisco should chill-out and smoke more marijuana, reports San Francisco Weekly.

“Alice Waters annoys the living s— out of me. We’re all in the middle of a recession, like we’re all going to start buying expensive organic food and running to the green market…”

— Bourdain during an interview with the DCist in January 2009.

Though Bourdain said that he likes Waters’ message, he believes she is out of touch with people who can’t afford to go out and buy organic milk. Unfortunately, in our country, it is more expensive to eat healthy, organic food then it is to buy processed junk.

“He is a brilliant cook. But his restaurants are lacklustre, I’m told. I don’t know. I don’t eat in them. I don’t want to risk being poisoned.”

— Clarissa Dickson Wright on chef Jamie Oliver during an interview Sept. 7, 2008, in the UK’s Independent.

Oliver is known for his campaign against processed food. Wright is one of the two personalities in a BBC program called “Two Fat Ladies.” She is known for her love of butter. Oliver responded back to her poison jab by saying he wouldn’t want her in his restaurants anyway for “fear of offending his other guests.” Go Jamie.

“Cooking is not about “f—in’ sunglasses and that stupid f—in’ armband. If he ever does that, throw me down the stairs.”

— Chang on the chef he hates the most, Guy Fieri, at the New York Food & Wine Festival in October 2009.

Fieri is another Rachael Ray-type cook without a lot of real talent in the kitchen.

“Monday’s episode featured the worlds least talented TV chef, Tyler Florence, once again churning out the questionable cooking advice and leading the ladies through a menu of the Moms fave recipes…”

— Andrew Zimmerman, host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, on his blog in January 2009.

I think it’s fair to say that Zimmerman doesn’t care much for Tyler Florence. Gotta love these guys who just tell it like it is. We need more people in the world like them. Bourdain, would you consider running for president? You’ve got my vote.

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